August hasn’t exactly been a slice for my daycare — there have been challenges.
They deserve a big thank you for the wonderful space they’ve created, their resiliency through a tough time, and the beautiful community they continue to grow. They’ve truly been #momstrong.
I’m giving them a huge pat-on-the-back with a LOVEPIZZA giveaway. (Thank you, LP!)
This May, we enrolled Alex once per week at the brand new Early Learning Childcare, an independent and locally owned daycare in Downtown Edmonton.
A new daycare, with a yard, in Downtown Edmonton
The owners, Teresa and Vince, had seen the huge empty space with an adjoining yard and patio next to Rigoletto’s Italian Restaurant. (100 Avenue and 103 Street) They both knew it would be a prime spot for a fresh downtown daycare; it has a huge outdoor grassy yard, which is such a rare thing downtown. Both co-owners knew that renovating the space would take a lot of time and money, but it would be worth it.
It definitely has been.
In fact, they might be the only downtown daycare with a yard, aside from Grant MacEwan.
They got to work, sparing no expense, and opened in April. I was lucky to register early in May, as it started to fill. I was able to watch the daycare grow over the summer and blossom with new staff and babies coming every single day.
I have seen owners Teresa and Vince pour their hearts, their time, and their money into the daycare. They only hire the best caregivers for the little ones. They’ve even added an Assistant Director, Katie, to their team. They dedicate long hours to making sure everything is perfect for the kids. This is not easy work — but they make it look easy.
Each week, I’ve seen something unique, thoughtful and forward-thinking
Teresa planned a Mother’s Day Tea and gifts for the moms, a Father’s Day treat and activity for the dads, a butterfly hatching for the kids to watch, and set up a cool projector screen for the little ones to see animals on the wall.
She connected parents to their little one’s daily activities through an online program. She’s be conceptualizing her preschool program for kids ages 3 – 5. She even invested in a new outdoor play structure from Costco for the yard.
They showed me how much care and consideration went into every detail with their daily activities and how they got to know every child by name. The Alberta Government demands that all daycares follow strict rules and guidelines, and Teresa had the manual out on her desk each day, always thinking of different ways to integrate more fun learning activities — like painting and sensory tables — into each day.
A Canada Day Event
In late June, Teresa gave full reign to me and Mercedes Bender of the “Live It All In” blog to host a Canada Day sensory bin event in the yard at the daycare. It SOLD OUT. And fast.
Teresa opened the daycare on a Saturday for us to use at our convenience. How incredible is that?! We hosted this sensory bin assembly activity for 20 moms, a couple of dads and helpers, and had a ton of fun. The activity suited the daycare well; it was all about building sensory bins that children 1 – 5 years old could use over and over again, get messy in, and have fun with. We dyed rice red, added cups and scoops to the bins, and left with two bins each.
(Huge props to Mike Isaak Photography for supplying the incredible photos!)
Early Learning Childcare is Strong as a Mother
But, in business and in life, there are always obstacles.
In August, their air conditioning unit burst and flooded the daycare. I could see that this broke Teresa’s heart — she’d invested so much, and was worried. (But she barely let it show.)
I want to thank Early Learning for their resiliency and leadership despite the flood. Teresa and Vince, Katie and team — you’ve kept on going, barely showing one once of discomfort. You handled it. You got extremely creative in keeping the kids happy while working around all of the shuffle of furniture and toys.
You stayed steadfast for us parents — only closing for a few days to do the brunt of the drying and construction work.
I know that this might have felt like a setback, but it’s only made you look even stronger.
It showed me (and all the other parents, I’m sure) that you won’t give up. You’ve got an incredible space, and incredible vision for your centre, and you are very good at what you do.
Learning, adapting and growing is all a part of life, and you do it well!
On behalf of Early Learning Childcare, and to show my support and thanks to them, I’m offering a giveaway of a $20 Gift Card to LOVEPIZZA downtown. A huge thank you to LP for allowing me to give some pizza to one of my fabulous readers.
To enter, go to my Facebook Page and follow the instructions on the original post.